Jurors in tears while reviewing autopsy photos of 4-year-old girl during mother’s murder trial

Jessica Briones facing up to life in prison if found guilty

It was a hard day for jurors as prosecutors showed evidence and autopsy photos in the trial of a mother accused of her daughter’s death.

SAN ANTONIO – It was a hard day for jurors as prosecutors showed evidence and autopsy photos in the trial of a mother accused of her daughter’s death.

Jessica Briones is charged with the murder of her 4-year-old, Olivia Briones.

Olivia died a day after her mother walked her to a San Antonio Police Department substation unresponsive on Sept. 5, 2017.

SAPD Sgt. Rachel Barnes, the lead detective on the case, was on the stand Thursday. She first spoke about how she started her investigation by searching Jessica Briones’ apartment.

“I’m looking for anything that could cause bumps, bruising, those kinds of things,” Barnes said.

Investigators collected several items, including broken table legs and a metal bracket.

The jury also heard Barnes’ interview with Briones at police headquarters.

When she told Briones about her daughter being on life support, Briones said she didn’t understand how that was possible.

When questioned about particular injuries, Briones recalled instances of twirling her daughter around and her hitting her head on a door frame or accidentally smashing her arm on a door.

Briones insisted that she didn’t know of any new injuries that would have caused her daughter’s current condition at that time.

It got hard for jurors when Barnes went through autopsy photos. The images showed numerous injuries all over the child’s body, including multiple injuries to the head.

Several jurors were seen crying, and they were given a short break after the second photo was shown.

Briones’ trial is expected to last into next week. If found guilty, she faces up to life in prison.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast South Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.